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WORLD BRIEFING / CHINA

France warned on Dalai Lama

November 30, 2008|Times Wire Reports

Business ties with France will probably suffer if French President Nicolas Sarkozy goes ahead with a planned meeting with the Dalai Lama, a leading Chinese government-backed scholar said in the official China Daily newspaper.

Trade retaliation is one of the most potent weapons that China has, and its decision to pull out of a summit with the European Union that was to have begun Monday in France has already prompted hand-wringing among French business leaders. More than 150 Chinese business executives had been expected to meet with European counterparts at an event on the summit's sidelines.

France has "underestimated China's resolution to protect its sovereignty," said Feng Zongping, who is the European studies director at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. Feng's institute is associated closely with the Foreign Ministry.

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